Friday, December 19, 2014

UPDATE 12/19/14



UPDATE 12/ 19/14

As the year draws to an end it’s been almost four months since I last posted anything on my blog. My excuse is that I’ve been so busy trying to keep up with the schedule of producing my bi-monthly digital book, The Mad Mummy, that I’ve pretty much let everything else slip by. A couple of things have happened lately that have made me re-examine that schedule.

The first is that while the that book, and the rest of my reissues (Lori Lovecraft, Retrowood,and Voodoo Mansion) all get great creative compliments, the sales figures on them are extremely low. So I either have to abandon the process or spend more time on the business and promotional side of comics. Yeah, it ain’t pretty but that’s the awful truth.

So part of that routine is to start to post weekly progress updates on my blog about what’s happening with the books. And once a month I still want to continue the “magazine article” format that I’ve already established.



Currently my LoriLovecraft.com website is being revised and updated as another outlet to reach fans of the stories. When I first learned how to create a website, we used the process called “wysiwyg” (what you see is what you get). It was very similar to photoshop and you simply pasted in text and dragged images to create pages. Then you posted it on your website. Unfortunately, depending on what browser you were using, where you put the text and image might appear quite different from one monitor to the next.  And you now have the additional complication of working for multiple size screens: computer, tablet, iPhone,etc. The only solution is that you now have to really examine the html code for each page while you are creating them; that’s a slow and tedious process, but I am still hoping to have a revamped Lori site up and functioning by late January 2015. Believe me, you’ll here about it here as it happens. 



The fifth issue of The Mad Mummy is nearing completion and will be off to my digital publishers before the end of the year.  This is a period piece where Aten Ra, the title character, meets up with my homage to Harry Flashman and a very young Asian doctor who was also one of my favorite fictional villains. Great fun to write and draw. The sixth issue is pencilled and picks up the story fifty years later when the doctor’s daughter enters the picture.





And I’m still trying to keep my hand in with drawing everyday and doing painting and illustration when I can. Life is short; use it up.

See you next week!  


-Mike

Sunday, August 24, 2014

ON STAGE AGAIN:LEONARD STARR REVISITED




One of the sobering aspects of aging is reexamining a lot of the material that thrilled us when we were younger.  As your tastes develop and your vision of the world changes, there is so much of what moved us in earlier days that has lost that magic. So it is always a treat when you see a Hitchcock film, hear Harry Belafonte sing, or reread Raymond Chandler and discover that it still holds up…and in many cases there are layers there that you couldn’t appreciate on your first introduction to the material.









In comics, that always held true for me with both of my childhood idols, Joe Kubert and Leonard Starr.  With Joe’s work there is an emotionalism that drew me into the stories then, and still does today. Because of his work in comic books and the impact of his school, Joe remains a household name among fans. While he probably had more visibility at the time with  the popular On Stage newspaper strip, younger fans are for the most part fairly ignorant of the talented Mr. Starr…until they get a chance to see some of the work.






I often asked myself why as a ten your old kid, I couldn’t wait to get the Sunday Detroit Free Press to read a soap opera?  Yes, a soap opera. This wasn’t Terry and Pirates or Mandrake of the Phantom…but I was gobsmacked every time  I saw an installment. It’s not easy to impress a young lad with a soap opera…but Leonard always managed to do it.  Rereading the work today I can understand why. 








So here’s a few installments from some of the very early years for your enjoyment. You’ll like the fact that the artist used his neighbor, a young Larry Hagman, as one of the characters. And who could miss the similarity between Pete Fletcher and the late, great Jim Gardner. We miss them both.

Next time a Mad Mummy Update!!!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

MICHIGAN SKETCHES


(Here's the cover for the third issue of Mad Mummy which heads out to iVerse later this week.)


Just got back from a quick  weekend trip I took to Michigan to visit my two sisters. I also saw a few old friends and drove by the house my parents lived in. So much changes, so much remains the same.







I did do a LOT of sketching. I usually pack three different pads. One is about 3” x 4.5 and I keep it in a pocket when I’m out walking and I see something of interest. I also keep a 5” x 7”  book in my car; whenever I have a trip to the doctor or know I’m going to be waiting a bit, I pull it out and doodle away. I also take my formal sketchbook that 11” x 14” that I take to life drawing class. Whatever sketches I do in class I tend to enhance with other drawings that turn them into more complicated compositions. Sometimes it’s a bit of landscape, roughs for planned illustrations, or just doing copies of photos or illustrations that have caught my eye. 










Oftentimes I will hear from folks, many times other artists, that they wished they had more time to draw. Like anything else, you have to find the time, of which there is rarely a shortage, and do the work. It’s all about love and practice. Of course, I’m fortunate enough that I don’t have a “smart” phone to continually distract me so I can use all that spare time to draw and record.






(Here is the frontpiece for issue 4 of Mad Mummy...
you can see the little rough I used to plan it out above.)

The first two issues of the books are available through iVerse/ComicsPlus at:
http://digital.comicsplusapp.com/publishers.php
Then type in AV Publishing or Mad Mummy in the SEARCH button.